The difficulties faced by a community when trying to control a dangerous insect are in many ways analogous to those faced by the body when attacked by a pathogen. Through evolution mammals have developed a complex and interlocking defense against invaders?an immune system well-honed to detect and control infections. The adaptive immune system relies on communication among autonomous entities to recognize pathogens and recruit effector cells; it includes a combination of systemic and local responses to remove pathogens; and, most amazingly, tightly regulates these responses and creates memory to improve them in the future.
The aim of the proposed collaborative interdisciplinary and international research is to develop a new paradigm for the control of dangerous insects patterned after the adaptive immune system. The project will adapt aspects of the immune system from the scale of cells to that of landscapes, and test the new approach against a conventional one using a randomized cluster design in an ongoing Chagas disease vector control program in the city of Arequipa, Peru. Based on over a decade of work on this topic and in this region, the team will now field this trial, using a framework from Implementation Science?the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework? to ensure rigor and reproducibility. The trial and subsequent evaluations will bridge participatory research and computational sciences to develop sustainable systems for the surveillance and control of Chagas disease vectors, as well as disease agents in general.
The project will develop a new paradigm to control dangerous insects in cities patterned after the adaptive immune system. The approach will be compared to conventional practice in the context of surveillance for Chagas disease vectors in Arequipa, Peru.